Officials investigate fatal VTA light-rail train crash in San Jose

SAN JOSE, Calif.

The crash happened Friday just before school started at Del Mar High School.

The memorial for Danika Garcia is growing. People were coming by all day and all night on Saturday, dropping off flowers and lighting candles in honor of a young girl who so many loved.

"She was an amazing person and when she entered a room, the room would light up," friend James Tuakalau said.

The 14-year-old was going to sing a Bruno Mars song in front of the entire school at a rally.

Instead, there was a moment of silence in her honor.

Garcia was riding her bike to Del Mar High School at 7:30 a.m. Friday. She was crossing the VTA light rail tracks when the horrible crash happened.

"One of the arms from the train wasn't going down. So she was riding her bike and all of a sudden she didn't see the train and she just hit the train," witness Cristofer Torres said.

Torres was walking behind her, moments before, but stopped because he heard the alarm bells.

He says Garcia was wearing head phones at the time.

"She was a really great friend. She was always there for me. If I told her something was wrong she would rush to me in a moment," friend Ava Salem said.

"Our group of friends, we're all so close. We're like family to each other and he was honestly like one of our sisters," Tuakalau said.

The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department is investigating whether the arm did in fact come down.

Copyright © 2023 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.